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Local home sales drop while prices surge

Home for sale - a sign in front of a brick house
Karen Roach/Karen Roach - stock.adobe.com
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Home for sale - a sign in front of a brick house

The latest quarterly numbers on local home sales show another decline in those sales, related mostly to a lack of inventory.

But the 3rd quarter report from the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors shows a strong increase in home prices.

The Rochester metro area saw a 10% increase in home prices compared to last year, with a median sales price of $220,000.

Mike O’Connor, who is president of the Realtors Association, said that even though Rochester is a relatively affordable market when it comes to housing, these increases still can be an impediment for people trying to buy that first home.

“It does hurt the first-time buyer or the renter looking to become an owner,” said O’Connor. “Because of the decrease in affordability, it's estimated right now that a buyer would need to earn 30% more in income, just to buy a median priced home in the Rochester metro area.”

The latest quarterly report on sales of existing homes in the Rochester area shows a nearly 18% reduction in sales compared to a year ago. Even with the lack of inventory, O’Connor said that competition is still very strong among prospective homebuyers.

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“We’re still seeing the multiple offer situations,” said O’Connor, who noted that a home up for sale in Monroe County was only on the market for about six days.

That demand recently helped lead the website Realtor.com to rank Rochester as the hottest housing market in the nation in August.

Realtor.com also cited the affordability of Rochester homes compared to many other places, something O’Connor noted as well.

“We are still making the national charts for affordability, even with the increase in price,” noted O’Connor, “so it's a good thing for the Rochester metro. The only downside to it is the lack of inventory. And we just simply do not see that changing anytime soon.“

The latest report from the local realtors association for the 11-county Rochester metro area showed that the number of new homes coming onto the market has been dropping in recent months.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.